man sitting on a chair looking at the computer

How to Stay Healthy While Sitting at a Desk


Sitting all day behind a desk can make staying healthy challenging, but there are simple things you can do to protect your body and avoid common health risks associated with sitting still for an extended period.

Proper posture at work is of utmost importance if you want to ensure proper health outcomes such as backache and muscle problems. Poor sitting habits at a desk may result in serious health issues including backache and other musculoskeletal ailments.

how to stay healthy while sitting at a desk

1. Invest in a good chair

Investment in a quality chair is crucial to your health and wellbeing while working at a desk. A poor chair may lead to neck and back pain, musculoskeletal issues and other ailments. Furthermore, it could hinder productivity at work as well as lower your mood.

Poor chairs can lead to discomfort that keeps you from focusing on the tasks at hand and finishing them quickly and efficiently. By being comfortable in your chair, however, you can focus on accomplishing them more quickly and efficiently.

An ergonomic chair can also help you get more done at work by increasing productivity and decreasing risk of injury, while simultaneously elevating your mood and helping to enhance performance.

Ergonomic design of office chairs is of critical importance in creating a productive workspace and reducing workplace injuries. Ergonomics chairs have proven themselves effective at doing exactly this.

Though these chairs can be costly, their long-term value far outweighs their initial investment. They can help prevent health complications while simultaneously increasing productivity and morale at work.

A chair that suits you perfectly can make all the difference in how comfortable and productive your work life will be. The best chairs provide optimal support and can even be personalized to meet the unique body type of each employee.

A good chair should offer comfortable seating with support for the back, arms, and legs as well as adjustable seat height and lumbar support.

Choose an office chair that complements the aesthetic of your workspace. A chair that matches with desk and other furniture will create an inviting ambiance, helping improve mood and productivity.

If your office features dark wood furniture, opt for a chair in a lighter hue to brighten and expand the space. Likewise, modern or minimalist pieces require sleek-lined chairs that match well with other decor pieces in order to achieve harmony in the office environment.

Noting the affordability of good chairs, one should not assume they must be costly. There are high-quality yet reasonably priced options out there that you may consider buying used.

2. Take regular breaks

Take regular desk breaks as a great way to stay healthy. Not only will this allow you to maintain focus while simultaneously relaxing from working long hours.

Take time to take regular breaks at work; studies have proven this important habit can improve overall productivity. Taking breaks helps prevent burnout and boosts efficiency.

You will be able to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently while simultaneously retaining more information.

Research has also demonstrated that taking breaks helps your mind disengage from problems you are currently encountering and find creative solutions to them.

Without proper rest breaks, your mind and body can quickly become overstrained. In order to prevent this from occurring, it’s vitally important that you take breaks when needed.

Take time out from work by going for a stroll outside or leaving your desk temporarily, but take more elaborate breaks, like volunteering in your community or traveling on vacation.

As part of your break, it’s essential that you ensure you’re not distracted during your free time off, otherwise this could have adverse repercussions for both productivity and health.

As well, it is wise to create a schedule for your breaks in order to plan in advance and ensure they do not extend too long or short of an amount.

As much as many may believe it to be important to take long breaks, research demonstrates that shorter breaks can also be very productive; even one minute of breaks can boost productivity levels significantly.

Deliberate breaks should be part of every employee’s workday, regardless of the size of your company or business. By including regular breaks into your daily routine, you will increase productivity, reduce stress levels and get the best out of each piece of work that comes your way.

3. Stretch regularly

No matter your level of desk sitting or level of sedentism, it’s vital to keep your muscles flexible and loose to make everyday tasks like maintaining posture or lifting heavy items easier. Doing this will increase their flexibility as well as make life more manageable overall.

Stretching can improve your flexibility, reduce aches and pains and enable you to work better mentally and physically. Stretching also increases blood flow to muscles which provides them with nutrients for growth. Stretching can make you stronger while also aiding flexibility.

Stretch regularly and include both static and dynamic stretches in your workout regimen for optimal results. Make time to stretch both before and after every physical activity session for 5 minutes each time.

Dynamic stretching involves performing gentle, repetitive motions that increase range of motion while increasing circulation and providing nutrients to muscles. Examples of dynamic stretching could be arm swings which begin small before gradually increasing to become larger within your normal range of motion.

Kate Galliett, an NASM-certified personal trainer and functional range conditioning mobility specialist from Price, Utah suggests a simple neck stretch involving rolling your head forward and back is an effective way to loosen up your upper body, according to research conducted by her company, NLC Mobility Specialists LLC. To avoid strain or sprain injuries caused by overstretching of muscles.

Warm up before beginning any physical activities that involve stretching. Cold muscles can become less flexible over time, so a light jog or 5-minute dynamic stretch which incorporates some dynamic movements before static stretching can help get blood pumping and avoid potential injuries.

Passive stretching may also increase your flexibility by using outside force to facilitate stretching. For instance, using a towel or resistance band to stretch hamstrings or back muscles.

Passive stretching can be done anytime of day or night, but it can be particularly helpful after exercising or to release tension during a routine break. If you need help choosing appropriate stretches for yourself, consult a fitness coach or physical therapist who will suggest stretching techniques tailored specifically to you.

4. Move around the office

No matter if you work at home or an office environment, moving around your desk will help mitigate its harmful effects of prolonged sitting. Sitting for too long has proven harmful to health and can even shorten life expectancies.

Millions of Americans spend over three hours sitting each day, while many in developed nations spend over nine. This sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But that doesn’t have to be the case; with just a few minor adjustments you can move more at your desk and become healthier.

First, begin making healthier decisions such as parking further away and opting for stairs over elevators when traveling up or down. Also consider taking a lunch-break walk, to increase steps taken and boost energy levels.

Start developing the habit of standing up every hour or two to take several deep breaths and open your chest, particularly for those with poor circulation who could be vulnerable to developing colds. This practice is especially important if your risk for colds increases significantly.

If your office offers ample space, consider investing in an exercise mat or standing elliptical machine to stay active during your busy workday. Not only will it keep your heart rate up but it will also engage your muscles while getting blood flowing throughout your system.

Alter the position of your keyboard and mouse frequently as another way of keeping yourself active on your desk, particularly if you tend to spend most of their time typing with one hand. Doing this will allow your muscles to adapt more easily to a new posture while decreasing the risk of backache from sitting too long.

If you normally type with your right hand, try switching for just a few minutes each day to using left-handed mouse or keyboard instead. Not only will this strengthen muscles in both arms and neck regions but it may even improve posture by strengthening those areas as well.